Stanford’s Justine Fedronic ran 2:00.97 in the 800 meters to break the school record at the Paris IAAF Diamond League track and field meet Saturday at Stade de France and achieve the World Championships ‘B’ standard.
Fedronic, a senior who has exhausted her outdoor eligibility but still has a season left in cross country and indoor track, broke teammate Amy Weissenbach’s mark of 2:00.98 set at the U.S. Championships on June 21 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Fedronic finished ninth while crushing her personal record of 2:01.67 from her third-place finish at the NCAA Championships on June 7 in Eugene, Ore. It was a Stanford record before the freshman Weissenbach broke it two weeks later.
This is the first race for Fedronic since joining the French national team two weeks ago. She was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a French father and Hungarian mother and is a dual citizen of France and Hungary. She lived in a Paris suburb until age 6 when her father, a software engineer, relocated the family to Silicon Valley and eventually settled in Belmont, where Fedronic starred for Carlmont High School.
Wearing her Stanford uniform, Fedronic toed the line in lane one in an 11-runner field, racing for the first time since the NCAA’s. Included in the race were two 2012 Olympic finalists, Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba and U.S. champion Alysia Montano.
Coming through her 200 splits in about 28.5, 30, 30, and 32 seconds, Fedronic held the rail throughout the race. The pace was fast, with three under 1:58 and five under 2:00, but Fedronic never lost contact with the main pack. Niyonsaba won in 1:57.26, with Morocco’s Malika Akkaoui second in 1:57.64, and Montano third in 1:57.75.
Fedronic may have set herself up for a possible berth in the world championships, which will be held in Moscow, Russia, from Aug. 10-18. She is the only Frenchwomen to reach the ‘B’ standard and no others have run faster than 2:02.40.
She also is No. 18 on the European season list and No. 3 from western Europe. Fedronic, 22, will next run in the European Under-23 Championships in Tampere, Finland, on July 11-14.